|Location||155 Middle Road, Singapore 188977|
Objectifs is an independent non-profit gallery and educational space in Singapore that is committed to advancing the practice and appreciation of film and photography. Its mission is to build a community of image-makers and visual storytellers, creating and sharing artistic works that foster dialogue around local and international issues.
Since its founding in 2003, Objectifs has played a pivotal role in the development of contemporary photography, video art and film in Singapore, with many artists learning, teaching or showing at the centre. Alongside regular workshops, Objectifs offers many developmental platforms for nurturing emerging artists, like its Residency & Lab, photography mentorship program Shooting Home, Affordable Photo Fair, Singapore Short Film Awards and other community collaborations.
Established in 2003, Objectifs first took root in Liang Seah Street in the Bugis area in Singapore. It moved to Arab Street in 2009 and occupied 4 floors in an art deco influenced shophouse. In June 2015, Objectifs moved to its current location at 155 Middle Road, in the arts and heritage Bras Basah Bugis district, under the National Arts Council's Arts Housing Scheme. The facilities include a gallery/screening space, two multipurpose spaces, outdoor courtyards and a retail store.
Founded on the ideal of creating a nurturing space for photographers, filmmakers and arts enthusiasts, Objectifs has created a community that has played a critical role in the development of visual arts in Southeast Asia. Since 2003, Objectifs has presented over 320 exhibitions, screenings and visual arts projects, and brought its workshops, school programs and outreach efforts to more than 29,000 students.
A film distribution arm, Objectifs Films, was created in 2005, in a partnership with Objectifs, Infinite Frameworks and Shooting Gallery Asia. Objectifs Films is the largest short film distributor in Southeast Asia, representing award-winning short films and selected independent feature films.
Objectifs provides quality instruction in photography and filmmaking, outside the confines of a diploma or full-time environment. Classes are taught by practitioners who are passionate about their craft and keen to inspire students. The centre offers an extensive range of photography and film seminars and workshops for beginners to professionals.
Photography classes include introductory-level classes like Basic, Black & White, Photoshop. Intermediate and specialized photography classes include Documentary, Photo Essay, Flash, Light Studies, Studio, Product, Fashion, Advertising, Business of Photography, etc. Objectifs also conducts travel photography workshops overseas, including cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Bangkok, Hanoi, Hoi An and Malacca.
Film workshops include introductory-level classes like Digital Filmmaking, Scriptwriting, and Editing. Intermediate and specialized film workshops include Super 8 Filmmaking, Documentary Filmmaking, Dance Filmmaking, Writing for TV, Editing Trailers, etc.
Shooting Home is an annual photography mentorship program, targeted at the most talented emerging photographers in Singapore. With 'shooting home' as a central theme, the program encourages all the participants to draw inspiration from their existing environment and ultimately contribute to ‘home’ and the local arts scene. Ten participants are selected each year by portfolio and applications open annually in January.
The faculty for Shooting Home has included some of Singapore’s top photographers, including Alex Moh, Bryan van der Beek, Chow Chee Yong, Chris Yap, CJ Sameer Wadhwa, Ernest Goh, Darren Soh, Francis Ng, Jason Wee, Wee Kheng-Li, Wong Maye-e, Maryann Teo, Shirlene Noordin, Tay Wei Ling and Wesley Loh. Shooting Home was co-founded with Tay Kay Chin in 2003.
More than half of the Shooting Home alumni have turned professional and received accolades for their work, while many continue contributing actively to the local arts scene. Some notable Shooting Home alumni include Jean Qingwen Loo (SH08) whose work was featured in the 2008 PDN Photo Annual, Deanna Ng (SH04) and Marcel Heijnen (SH09) who had solo shows during the Month of Photography Asia and Gwen Lee (SH05) who founded the Singapore International Photography Festival and Gallery 2902 and Sit Weng San (SH09) who was a speaker at TEDx Singapore. Others have made their mark in the local photojournalism, fine arts and education scenes as well.
Youth & Outreach
Apart from its regular course offerings, Objectifs works closely with many secondary schools, junior colleges, tertiary institutions and international schools. Youth programs such as the Traveling Short Film Project (a showcase of local films), Digital Photography, Photography + Design, Digital Filmmaking and Documentary Filmmaking have reached out to about 16,700 students over 56 schools.
Through outreach programs, Objectifs engages the wider community in photography and film. Past programs include the Affordable Photo Fair, an informal fair for emerging photographers to showcase their works and InsideOut, a photography project in collaboration with non-profit organization Migrant Voices and low-wage migrant workers.
Shows at the Objectifs Gallery feature Singaporean and Asian visual artists. Apart from the regular BUD photography exhibition and film screenings (a quarterly showcase of works by students at Objectifs), some highlights include:
- Postcards from Earth (Sep 2011): By Black Baroque Committee and curated by Vertical Submarine.
- Singapore 1941: A Unique Kodachrome Record (Aug 2011): Featuring footage shot by Mel Nichols in 1941 with a discussion by Australian National Film & Sound Archive historian Graham Shirley
- HOMEWORK (June 2011): A solo exhibition by Sean Lee. Sean went on to win the 2nd Icon de Martell Photography Award.
- Child and the Beast (Mar 2011): A solo exhibition by Genevieve Chua and a parallel event of the 2011 Singapore Biennale.
- M.M. I Love You (Aug 2010): An exhibition about modern Singapore featuring works exploring the mythology of nationhood. Artists: Ho Tzu Nyen, Amanda Heng, Tan Pin Pin, Jason Wee and Bryan van der Beek.
The Objectifs Artist-in-Residence programme is open to all photographers, filmmakers and mixed media artists who have photography and film incorporated into their work. The aim is to provide visual artists, who want to develop their craft, with a conducive platform for the creation and development of new personal work. Being in a new environment allows artists to interact with the local arts community and exposes artists to a diversity of cultures and ideas.
First launched in April 2006, Objectifs has since hosted 17 residents, both local and international. Past international residents include Aaron Wilson (Australia), Aubrey Edwards (USA), Brian Palmer (USA), Darlene Lin (USA), David Schmoeller (USA), Grace Lee (USA), Jacqueline Felstead (Australia), Kika Nicolela (Brazil), Luis Cantillo (Colombia), Mingmongkul Sonakul (Thailand), Sohan Ariel Hayes (Australia), Yohan Han (S. Korea) and Steffany Imelda (Indonesia). Local residents have included Ellery Ngiam, Ernest Goh, Ang Song Nian, Fran Borgia, Tay Wei Leng, Victric Thng and Ung Ruey Loon.
During the residency period, the artist is given access to the centre's available equipment, facilities and provided a stipend. Material fees are also provided for the completion of the artist's project. As part of the Lab element, Objectifs works closely with the artist-in-residence to plan outreach activities to engage the wider community of artists and enthusiasts to create a space for collaboration and learning.
Objectifs Films is a joint venture by Objectifs, post-production house Infinite Frameworks and production house Shooting Gallery Asia. Objectifs Films promotes Singaporean and Asian short films and independent feature films worldwide.
The company represents about 55 filmmakers,including award-winning filmmakers like local directors Royston Tan, Tan Pin Pin, Boo Junfeng, Anthony Chen, Sun Koh and Bertrand Lee, and prominent independent Southeast Asian filmmakers like Amir Muhammad, Aditya Assarat and Anocha Suwichakornpong.
Films are distributed to broadcast (e.g. Canal+ in France, Arte in France and Germany, Sveriges Television in Sweden, SBS in Australia), online channels (e.g. IndieFlix), airline (e.g. Singapore Airlines) and mobile platforms (e.g. M1 mobile). Some of the most popular DVD titles carried by Objectifs Films include Singapore GaGa (Tan Pin Pin) and Old Places (Royston Tan, Eva Tang, Victric Thng).
To raise the profile of Southeast Asian films, Objectifs Films curates for and attends international film festivals and markets regularly. It has programmed showcases and participated for festivals like Encounters Film Festival, Clermont-Ferrand international Film Festival & Market, Thai Short Film & Video Festival, CFC World Film Festival, China International New Media Shorts Festival amongst others.
Collaborations & Projects
Objectifs has worked in close collaboration with many organizations in Singapore. Some collaborative projects include:
- Life in Action Photo Competition (2011) with the National Museum of Singapore
- ScreenSingapore (2011) with Media Development Authority / Singapore Film Commission
- Dance/Film (2010 & 2011) for the Singapore Arts Festival
- Through Asian Eyes (2011) online showcase of Asian photographers for Nikon Asia
- Singapore Short Film Awards (2010-2012) co-organised with The Substation
- Fly By Night Video Challenge (2006-2010) with Tan Pin Pin and Yuni Hadi
- I Light Marina Bay Photo Competition (2010) with the Urban Redevelopment Authority
- 60s in Five Film Project (2010) with the National Museum of Singapore
- Arts Weekend at Malay Heritage Centre (2010)
- Month of Photography Asia (2008–11)
- Digital Film Fiesta (2006-2010) with Panasonic and Media Development Authority
- Singapore 2034 (2009) with NEXUS (Ministry of Defence (Singapore))
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